If Oracle Buys TikTok, Would It Suddenly Change Its Tune On Section 230?
from the seems-like-an-important-question dept
Late Monday, it came out that Oracle is one of the potential American acquirers of TikTok from the Chinese company ByteDance, after President Trump ordered Bytedance sell TikTok out of spite. Microsoft has been the most talked about potential purchaser, though there were also rumors of a potential bid by Twitter.
The Oracle rumor strikes many as particularly bizarre, for good reason. Oracle is pretty much an enterprise-only focused company. However, if it has one strength it is in buying up companies and integrating them into its cashflow generation machine. I’m still not sure I see the synergies here, but perhaps Larry Ellison is finally realizing that Oracle is the opposite of cool in Silicon Valley.
However, the thing that struck me most about all of this is that Oracle is one of the main companies behind the plot to undermine Section 230. Oracle has been a funder of a weird group of anti-Section 230 activists, and has been involved in multiple anti-Section 230 crusades. And, as we’ve pointed out in the past, it seems pretty clear why: Oracle has always been incredibly (to a petty level) jealous of Google and Facebook’s success — and seems to see Section 230 reform as a weapon it can use to attack those companies without harming itself, since Oracle doesn’t really host much user generated content.
Of course, that would change if Oracle actually ended up buying TikTok. Suddenly, it would have a massive platform full of user generated content, and it would be fascinating to watch if Oracle changes its tune on 230 (or calls off its attack dogs who keep misrepresenting 230). That would certainly be interesting. Of course, the general rumor is that Oracle is really just doing this to drive up the price for Microsoft (who Oracle is losing to in the fight for “cloud” supremacy), but President Trump has given his blessing for an Oracle/TikTok deal, which isn’t too surprising, given that Oracle’s top execs have been sucking up to Trump and praising him since he was elected.